Why We Trust MAPEI Tile Installation Products

 

 

Laying tile is an art form. Doing it right takes practice and skill, but most importantly, it takes the right tools to get the job done. Here at Tiles Unlimited, getting the job done right is our top priority so we are very particular about the installation products we recommend. We are committed to providing you with a tile feature in your home that you can enjoy and admire for years to come. For this and several other reasons we are confident in the products available through MAPEI. For years, we’ve seen the successful results of using their products and we now trust that there will always be a positive outcome. More tile manufacturers recommend MAPEI installation products than any other vendor’s products.

 

Because Beauty Begins With What’s Underneath

 Aesthetics aren’t the only reason it’s important to rely on the best available installation products. Certainly, it’s paramount to use the best if the goal is an impressive tile feature in your home. But even the most beautiful tile job loses value if it doesn’t stand the test of time. MAPEI products help achieve longevity by mitigating the typical issues that can arise with poorly installed tile. From their Aquadefense waterproofing products to thin-sets and grouts, these products ensure that finished work doesn’t have leaks, cracks, or other problems. The result is workmanship of the highest quality and our clients are always impressed with the way the finished bathrooms, kitchens, and patios look in their homes.

 

 

MAPEI’s product lines are highly diversified. This allows us to use their products throughout the entire installation. Not only does this help ensure uniformity during construction, but it also allows us to use products that are optimized to work together.

 

High Performance Grout = Outstanding Results

Many homeowners are not very concerned with what thin-set or grout is used for their project. We can’t stress how important these items are in achieving the best installation possible. You may find tile installation products less expensive than MAPEI’s but they won’t give you the same results.

Take MAPEI Flexcolor CQ Grout (available in 40 colors) as an example. More expensive than ordinary sanded or unsanded grouts, it has properties that will save your installer time and money, which should translate into a more affordable installation for you. Flexcolor CQ Grout comes pre-mixed so there are no worries with using thin-set that are too thick or too watery. Flexcolor CQ Grout will not crack, requires no sealing, is stain resistant and offers incredible color consistency not found in ordinary grouts. Once dry, Flexcolor CQ Grout is water resistant as well as mold resistant. These properties will lead to the most professional installations and pretty much eliminate the need to call back your installer to fix thin-set and/or grout issues. Comparison testing of MAPEI Flexcolor CQ versus traditional cement grout has verified that MAPEI Flexcolor CQ is 30% more cost-efficient (based on typical rates of installers) and requires 65% less time to install.

 

Click picture to see video of CQ Grout in action

 

For more information about Tiles Unlimited and the way we use MAPEI tile installation products, we invite you to visit our showroom and speak to our tile experts. In particular, we’d be happy to show your real samples because the natural variation in the shades of their products might appear different according to your computer monitor’s screen colors. We strongly recommend that you make your decision from actual products in stock, rather than pictures from the website.

Selecting Your Grout Color Should Not Be an Afterthought

So now that you’ve picked out your tile, what grout color should you choose? Grout is often an overlooked design element when tiling floors, walls or backsplashes. Choosing a specific grout color could change the overall color appearance of the tile and the way that your entire project looks! The picture below is the same mosaic tile with three different grout colors (white, black, grey). Note how different the tile looks with each grout.

 

There are three general approaches when it comes to selecting grout: blending with the tile, contrasting with the tile, or neutral colors aka matching the grout. Let the selection of your grout be as important as tile selection and you’ll be able to achieve the perfect design. Make sure you choose the grout color and don’t leave such an important decision to your tile installer.

 

Blending Grout

Blending is the most common approach and what we recommend for most projects. This involves choosing the grout color that matches with the color in your tile. For example, you can blend by using white grout with our Frost collection.

 

 

Contrasting Grout

 

Contrasting your grout can be a bold but beautiful choice. If you’re looking to make the tile stand out, select a contrasting grout color to your tile. This frames each tile and draws attention to them. You will also want to look at using a thicker grout in this instance to really highlight your tile selection. This is a good choice for more decorative tile patterns.

 

 

 

Matching Grout/Neutral

 

If you’re looking for what some feel is the safest choice, select a “neutral” grout color from the beiges or greys. If you want something that will have mass appeal, a neutral matching color is the most widely recommended approach.

 

Other Grout Considerations

 

The selection of your grout color is important to achieve your desired look; however, you still need to consider the type of grout being used. Grout functions to bond tiles and stone edges together and prevent chipping so it is important you or your tile contractor understand the types of grout available.

You should also consider traffic patterns in the room where your tile and grout will be used when selecting a color. A very light grout is probably not a good idea for a busy kitchen, but could be ideal for a less used guest bath.

Grout Color Matters!

You spent weeks searching online and in tile stores for that perfect tile for your kitchen project. You take it home and your tile installer lays out the tiles. You look and confirm you’ve made the right decision. Your tile installer returns the next day to grout the tile. It’s 5:00 and you’re leaving work. You can’t wait to get home and see your new kitchen floor. You walk in the door, look at the completed project and begin to cry as it looks nothing like what you saw in the showroom.

What Happened?

Grout is more than just the glue that fills the space between tiles and holds them together– it is a vital part of the design and the key to loving the end result. Grout color selections have grown over the years; today you can find grout in virtually every shade of the rainbow to blend or contrast with your tiles. By simply selecting a different color, the look of the tiles can shift from traditional and classic to modern and sleek.

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Blended Perfection

Generally speaking, a grout that blends with the base color of the tile allows the detail of the tile to shine through; the tile itself becomes the focus. The color, pattern, and veining of marble, travertine or porcelain tiles come forward when the grout is matched to the tile.

This works well in small spaces when you want to visually expand the room; instead of the installation pattern of the tile being the focal point, the graphic nature fades into the background, and the beauty of the tile itself shines through.

With marble or other natural stone tiles, sometimes the default choice is a grout color that matches the base color of the tile. This can be a great option when you want a simple and classic look that draws the eye into the marble’s natural color variation and veins.

Creative Contrast

Contrasting grout, on the other hand, highlights the graphic nature of the installation. But, using contrasting grout doesn’t have to be visually jarring. When paired with a darker tile, light grout picks up the colors of the natural stone countertops and backsplashes, creating a cohesive and beautiful look.

If you want a more contemporary take, using classic white subway tiles, grey grout is the answer. In fact, this is one of today’s hottest trends. White subway tiles are clean, simple, and classic; but this design twist, using dark gray grout, transforms the look and feel of the space highlighting the tile layout.

Since the contrasting grout, whether darker or lighter, is going to bring the design pattern more into focus, consider a chevron, herringbone, or vertical offset pattern for additional visual interest.

Choosing the right grout is more than just about color and whether to contrast, or not. Make sure to pay attention to the type of grout you choose. The two most common are “sanded” and “non-sanded”. Sanded grouts are less expensive, but can scratch certain tiles, including glass and marble, so be cautious. They are, however, generally safe for porcelain. Non-sanded grouts tend to cost a bit more, but don’t let price be the sole determining factor.

Many look at grout as a commodity item but nothing can be further from the truth. The more expensive grouts like MAPEI Flexcolor CQ have properties you won’t find in ordinary grouts such as not needing to be sealed, color consistency and will not crack. If you’re using glass tile in your installation, you want a specialty grout like Bostik’s Dimension grout. Designed for use with glass tile, it will allow light to reflect and refract, bringing out the beauty of the glass that ordinary grout can’t as it blocks light.

When designing your project, grout selection is a vital step. As you start to narrow down your tile choices, start looking at the myriad of grout colors available. Ask yourself these key questions: “Do I want the tile itself to stand out, or let the graphic pattern take center stage?” “Do I want a more seamless appearance, or a more linear one?” For more ideas and inspiration on how to create your perfectly tiled space, visit our new online Inspiration Gallery!

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The expert Tile Consultants at Tiles Unlimited stand ready to assist you in designing your dream project as well as making the grout you select will achieve the final look you desire.